Tuesday, February 12, 2013

WCHA smartly scraps its “Alaska Plan”

I know that this story is a couple of days old. Last summer, before the WCHA added UAH, the league had decided to go with a cash saving measure known as the “Alaska plan”. Now that the WCHA has add Alabama Huntsville this winter, the league has decided to scrap the “Alaska Plan”. Which was the right move.

Looking at this plan from an outsider’s perspective, I think this plan would’ve made the league look second rate, and also would have cheapened the league’s WCHA post season championship.
Matt Wellens, The Mining Journal --- Over the summer, ADs and presidents from the league's then nine future members - Northern Michigan, Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State, Ferris State, Bowling Green State, Minnesota State, Bemidji State, Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska-Fairbanks - approved a nine-team playoff format that would send the No. 1 seed straight to the league semifinals.

Meanwhile, the Nanooks and Seawolves would play every year in the first round, whether they finish second and third, or eighth and ninth.

The support for that plan has now been replaced by a traditional, three-round, two-weekend, eight-team bracket that has yet to be presented or approved by the university presidents.

"I think we came up with something that is a better alternative, a more fair alternative and its something that is going to work financially," NMU AD Forrest Karr said.

The "Alaska Plan" prevented the group of eight cash-strapped NCAA Division II schools and one Div. I institution from having to pay for up to two teams flights to the nation's 49th state at the last minute should Anchorage or Fairbanks finish between No. 2 and 5.
Going forward, no one really knows how all of this realignment is going to play out. I don’t think that anyone wants to see any team or league fail, but the "Alaska Plan" was an ill-conceived gong show.